Kyle

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Kyle Recreational Park Overview

Kyle Recreational Park is about 16900 in extent. The water body constitutes about 9300 hectares while 7600 hectares is covered by land. The Park Main Offices and rest camp are situated on the northern shore of the Dam. Kyle Recreational Park lies on the eastern edge of the Highveld and is susceptible to varied climatic conditions. Although usually hot, Kyle is subject to heavy mist “guti” due to the proximity of the lake, and it can be quite cold. The Park’s road network extends for a total of 65km of dirt road. Some roads are generally passable throughout the whole year while some are not accessible during the rain season.

 The Park is home to both aquatic (water) and terrestrial (land) wildlife species with the best game viewing months being from June to December. The speed limit within the Park is 40km per hour and tourists are urged not to drive off road but to always stay on the road and in their cars at all times except at designated places such as picnic sites.

 

Featured Attractions

Kyle Recreational Park is 16 900 hectares in extent. Of the total Park area, 9 300 hectares is occupied by the lake (Lake Mutirikwi) at full supply level. The dam was constructed in 1960 and that same year the Park was established.

The Park itself exists as a secondary resource, the primary reason for the construction of Kyle Dam was to act as an irrigation reservoir for the lowveld farming estates. Due to the fact that Lake Mutirikwi’s total annual yield of water is committed, the level of the lake is subject to considerable fluctuation.

The Park area is bounded on the north by the Beza Range which rises to a height of 1485m. Between this range and Lake Mutirikwi, is an undulating plain averaging 1070m above sea level. The plain terminates in an area of broken hills dividing Lake Mutirikwi into to two main areas: east and west. Four main estuaries are a feature of the lakeshore in the central section of the area. Great Zimbabwe, Africa’s second largest ancient stone structure, is situated on the Southern side of the Park while Masvingo city which derives its name from the afore-mentioned ancient stone city is to the west of the Park.

On the south of the lake, granite hills dominated by almost bare whalebacks of solid rock occupy the area. The Park originated from traditional communal land formerly occupied by the Basutu and Kalanga tribes.

Animals found in the Park

The Park is home to more than 25 species of wild mammals. Some commonly sited animals include; buffalo, common duiker, eland, impala, kudu, reedbuck, warthog, waterbuck, white rhinoceros, widebeest, zebra, giraffe, squirrel, blackbacked jackal, leopard, honey badger, rockdassie, hippopotamus, ostrich, crocodile and porcupine. Some of the rarer species include; antbear, bushbuck, bushpig, klipsringer, sable and steenbuck.

Fish found in and around the lake?
•    Largemouth bass – important & popular angling fish found in most areas?
•    Nembwe – Popular angling fish found in all areas?
•    Greenhead bream – Move in shoals found in most areas?
•    Sabi/ red breasted bream – Found in most areas?
•    Mozambique bream – Not very common?
•    Black bream – Rarely found?
•    Limpopo sardine – Important fodder fish?
•    Three spot minnow – Rarely exceeds 12 cm?
•    Spotted minnow – Rarely exceeds 10 cm?
•    Hamilton barb – Rarely exceeds 12 cm?
•    Straight fin barb – Rarely exceeds 12 cm?
•    Beira barb – Rarely exceeds 10 cm?
•    Southern kneria – Found in small rivers and streams?
•    Spotted catlet – Never exceeds 7 cm?
•    Mottled eel – Weighs up to 18 kg?
•    Eastern bottlenose – Likes very deep rocky areas?
•    Smallmouth yellow fish – May exceed 3 kg?
•    Red spotted mudsucker – Mainly a riverine species?
•    Red-eye mudsucker – Found in all areas?
•    Catfish or barbell – May travel overland at night?
•    Banded bream – Rarely exceeds 15 cm

Vegetation

The vegetation varies from small patches of evergreen riverine species, through thicket woodland, open woodland, grassland and rocky hills to a barren zone along the lake shore which is subject to periodic inundation and which supports only a sparse cover of annual herbs and grasses.

The vegetation changes from predominance of miombo woodland with brachstegia spiciformis and jubernada globiflora to thickets dominated by peltophorum africanum, terminalia sericea, comberetum and acacia karoo.

Accommodation

Faciliities

Lodges

Central Zone


Accommodation facilities are located about 1 km from the Tourist Office. There are a wide variety of self-catering lodges available at Kyle Recreational Park as outlined below.

Name Type Details
Waterbuck 3 bedroomed (2 bedrooms x 3 beds, 1 bedroom x 2 beds)
Elephant 2 bedroomed (1 bedroom x 3 beds, 1 bedroom x 2 beds)
Hippo 2 bedroomed (1 bedroom x 3 beds, 1 bedroom x 2 beds)
Rhino 2 bedroomed (1 bedroom x 3 beds, 1 bedroom x 2 beds)
Sable 1 bedroomed (1 bedroom x 1 bed, 1 single bed in the lounge)
Impala 1 bedroomed (1 bedroom x 1 bed, 1 single bed in the lounge)
Kudu 1 bedroomed (1 bedroom x 2 bed, 1 single bed in the lounge)
Buffalo 1 bedroomed (1 bedroom x 2 bed, 1 single bed in the lounge)
Cheetah 1 bedroomed (1 bedroom x 2 bed, 1 single bed in the lounge)
Duiker 1 bedroomed (1 bedroom x 2 bed, 1 single bed in the lounge)

Sikato Bay Camp

Sikato Bay Camp

Located on the northern side of the Great Zimbabwe and 32 km from town. There are currently 2 x 2 bedroomed lodges under construction.

Camp Sites

Central Zone

Located 700 metres from the Tourist Office. There are 11 camping sites with 2 ablutions consisting of toilets and hot shower. There are also 2 dining shelters serving this area.Sikato Bay CampThe location has 12 camping sites.

Caravan Site

There are 5 caravan sites of which 4 have electric power. The maximum capacity for the site is 6 people per site.

Picnic Site

The picnic sites have ablution and fire places. The sites are mainly for day use.Popoteke Picnic SiteLocated approximately 10 km from the Kyle entrance gate and situated in the northern portion of the Park. The Popoteke gorge site adjoins a special conservation area; a refuge rich in estuarine for spawning fish. The woodland type is predominantly Miombo with brachystegia spiciformis and julbernada globiflora as constituent species. The gorge offers a spectacular view.Mutirikwi Picnic SiteLocated 6 km from the Tourist Office.

Conference Facility

Waterbuck lodge may be used as an alternative conference facility for 20 people upon request.

Park Fees

Amenities

Amenities

No supplies can be obtained from Lake Kyle, therefore visitors must bring adequate stocks of all utilities.

How to get there

From Masvingo town, follow the Birchenough Bridge or Mutare road for 13Km along the highway and turn right where its sign posted “Kyle Recreational Park”. From the turn off to the main Entrance gate is about 19km then a further 5km stretch of dirty road up to the Main Offices and accommodation facilities, making a total distance of about 37km from Masvingo town.

Touring Activities

Activities

  • Game viewing – visitors use their own vehicles for transport.
  • Fishing – visitors bring their own fishing gear and boats
  • Guided walks
  • Guided horse rides
  • Arboretum walk – unguided walk from Tourist Office to the camp sites
  • Scenic view – Uchicho; view of the lake and mountains
  • Bompst boat club
  • Game Drives- There is a game drive vehicle with a seating capacity of up to 10 guests with an experienced guide at a fee. Visitors can also do self drives in their own vehicles

-Crocodile viewing

What to take with you

General outdoor equipment e.g. hiking shoes, camping equipment for campers, torch, cameras, binoculars, guides/maps, food stuffs and personal medication.

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November 12, 2015November 12, 2015
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